To any basketball fan with a brain between their ears, Michael Jordan is the best player of all-time. Six NBA Championships, clutch shots, signature dunks, and just a winning attitude makes MJ the GOAT. With all that success in the spotlight though, the paparazzi and the haters will tried to bring Jordan, and his family down. Whether there were cheating rumors, arrests, marital troubles, or a combination of them all, the Jordan family endured it, through thick and thin.
Today at TheSportster, we will dive into several embarrassing moments that "Air Jordan," and the rest of his family, have braved in the public eye. Just a friendly reminder before we begin for all you haters, we aren't here to throw Jordan and any of his family under the bus. They are outstanding individuals, who have groan a billion dollar empire in the face of several adversities. There is no dirty laundry here, as this information is already plastered across the internet. We just gathered it all together to bring you 15 shameful and/or embarrassing pictures of the Jordan family, and the stories behind them. Some require proper context to understand so be sure to read on.
15 Jordan's Got Great Genes
Jordan has a daughter. She's now she's all grown-up, and smokin'. The 25-year-old attended Syracuse University, majoring in sports management, where she instantly became a local celebrity. Not all attention is great attention though, and Jasmine considered transferring schools due to her unwanted popularity. She claimed in an interview with Chicago-based blog, Bossip, "It's hard knowing that your family is always living under a microscope [But I'm] humble, grateful, and thankful for the life I have."
Jasmine's love life has also been aired out for everyone to see. Rumors swirled that she was dating ex-Syracuse guard, Scoop Jardine, then an Instagram photo surfaced questioning Jordan's sexuality and her affinity towards women. Recent posts have shown she now has a steady boyfriend though. It's a shame that anyone has to live their life under a watchful eye, but that's what it takes to be a Jordan.
14 Karla With The Good Hair
Jordan has been no stranger to cheating accusations. But in 2002, one of his famous mistresses, Karla Knafel, took MJ to court over some unpaid hush money. After a two-year affair, Knafel claimed she was pregnant with a baby Jordan, and he offered to pay her $5-million to keep quiet about the whole situation, yet only paid her $250,000.
After a paternity test, like an episode of Maury, in the case of baby Knafel, Michael Jordan, you are NOT the father. The case was all but thrown out after Jordan claimed that she was trying to extort him, which in Knafel's case, seemed plausible due to some past civil cases. Many people believe this was one of the driving factors for Jordan's ex-wife, Juanita Vanoy, to officially file for divorce in 2002.
13 Marcus Arrested
Classic middle child syndrome, always acting out to get attention! Marcus Jordan has been a thorn in MJ's side, from a PR perspective, since he became an adult. At first, the 6'4", 205 lb. guard, went to UCF to pursue a career in basketball. During his time in Orlando, Marcus ruffled some feathers, refusing to wear the school-sponsored brand, Adidas, instead, opting for his father's Jordans. Adidas then terminated their contract with the university. After two average years, he left the Knights basketball program.
Marcus continued his bonehead antics, which included tweeting sexual content at a an adult film star instead of DMing her, dropping $56,000 over the course of a weekend at a casino, and finally getting arrested for disorderly conduct outside a Omaha hotel in 2012. All of these antics, and especially this mugshot, bring shame upon the Jordan name. While the situation eventually simmered down, Marcus ended up back in the news when he tweeted out a picture of his junk, and then denied it.
12 Party! Party! Party!
Between his official divorce in 2006, to his current relationship with now-wife, Yvette Prieto, in 2008, Jordan was caught living the single life. Traveling from town to town, smokin' cigars, getting lit, and accumulating hook-ups. Well, there is no real evidence of that last part, but it would be naive to think that it didn't happen!
Back in April 2007, Jordan was caught bumping and grinding some party girls in Cabo San Lucas, typical stogie in hand. These chicks look like they're having the time of their life and will have a lasting memory in this picture to show their future husbands wondering if anything really happened. While shameful, I wouldn't expect anything else from a recently divorced celebrity. The guy is a legend, on the court, and on the dance floor.
11 Talent Does Not Always Crossover
I think we all know the story of Jordan's baseball career, he just sucked. It was a case of a star athlete getting preferential treatment due to his elite status. Without going into too much detail of his actual baseball career (you can see from the picture that he really "dropped the ball" in the minor leagues), we would like to go into some theories why he actually left basketball the first time.
As we talked about previously, Jordan's father was murdered in 1993 (some say it was because gambling debts, but it was most likely due to a carjacking gone wrong), and MJ lost his desire to play in the NBA after his dad's death. He's stated that Papa Jordan always viewed him as a baseball player, and he wanted to make his dad proud.
The better theory though, is that Jordan was suspended by David Stern for gambling. In attempt at maintaining the Chicago fan base , Bulls owner, Jerry Reindorf, who also owned the White Sox, kept Jordan in the spotlight during his secret suspension. We will probably never know the truth, but MJ's baseball career is truly one of his most shameful sports moments.
10 He's A Gamblin' Man
When you are a superstar ball player with loads of disposable income, casinos become a second home. There are so many stories to tell about Jordan's gambling problems, so let's get right down to it.
Back in 1993, during a playoff series with the Knicks, Jordan decided to sneak off to Atlantic City and gamble the night away, only to lose the next day to a Ewing led Knicks team. The media had a field day with Jordan's lack of commitment to the team, but in typical GOAT fashion, he dominated and Chicago won the series.
Stories have surfaced that MJ would be down $5 million at a time at the craps table, betting hundreds of thousands of dollars per stroke on the golf course, and even threw down $100,000 on a game of rock, paper, scissors! While these stories glorify Jordan's bad-assery, it wasn't all just fun and games.
NBA conspiracy theorists have noted two significant life events that could have been affected by MJ's gambling. Jordan's first "retirement" may have been a hidden 18-month suspension due to his gambling problems, but David Stern and the NBA did not want to tarnish the image of their top money maker. Other theories suggest that Michael Jordan's father, James Jordan, who was famously murdered in 1993, was whacked by the mob because Michael didn't pay his gambling debts. If either of these are true, Jordan should feel disgraced.
9 Ms. Vanoy Takes Half of Michael's Secret Stuff
Despite giving off the aura of a single, successful NBAer (the bachelor attitude, the gambling, the cigar smoking, the swagger, etc.), Michael Jordan married Juanita Vanoy in 1989. The couple met back in 1984 when a mutual friend introduced them at a Bennigans restaurant in Chicago. After one failed engagement in 1987, the couple got back together and married in a somewhat shotgun wedding after Vanoy got pregnant with their son, Jeffrey. They went on to have two more children, Marcus and Jasmine.
In 2002 though, MJ's cheating rumors had surfaced (yet again), and Juanita filed for divorce. After attempting to reconcile the relationship, the divorce was eventually finalized in 2006. Vanoy went on to receive half of Michael's stuff, which equated to $168 million. At the time, this was the biggest celebrity divorce settlement ever. A true shameful moment in Jordan's career.
8 The New Mrs. Jordan Used To Date Who?
After Jordan got divorced from his first-wife, Juanita Vanoy, he was free to live the single life that he always dreamed of. But, after a chance encounter at a Miami nightclub in 2008, MJ decided to start seeing Cuban American model, Yvette Prieto, and she moved in with Jordan a year later. After a few years of dating, the couple officially tied the knot in a lavish, star-studded wedding. The happy couple welcomed twins, Victoria and Ysabel, into the world in 2014.
None of that is very shameful, and is quite uplifting considering the theme of our article. But, just like Jordan, Prieto had some skeletons in her closet too. She once dated Julio Iglesias Jr., son of the sensual singer, Julio Iglesias Sr. There is no bad blood between the two, but it must be hard for celebs to deal with their shameful exes plastered across the internet.
7 Perdue Punched By The GOAT
We all know another great guard in Kobe Bryant who has had issues with teammates in the past, but in the pre-social media days, these practice scuffles rarely made it into the headlines. According to Horace Grant, in an interview with radio station, Hot 97 in New York City Phil Jackson used to make Jordan play on the second-team in practice to keep team scrimmages competitive.
One day, the 7'1" center, Will Perdue, set a hard (and illegal) screen on Jordan, to which Jordan responded, "Will, don't do it again." Being the instigator coach that he is, Jackson ran the play again, and Perdue dropped Jordan on the screen. Number 23 popped up and punched the big man right in the face and screamed "Why the hell don't you ever set a pick like that in a game?"
6 MJ Misses Open Dunk
Jordan does not have many lowlights during his career, but in the 2002 All-Star, MJ embarrassingly missed a wide open bucket. He went up for a classic one-handed jam, only to have the ball ricochet off the back of the iron and go flying into the stands. The crowd got a kick out of this rare Jordan blunder, and "His Airness" even laughed it off.
The future Hall of Famer, and subject of our entire article, went on to only score eight points on 4-13 in his penultimate All-Star game, and the West dominated the East, 135 to 120. Jordan would make it to his 14th and final All-Star weekend in 2003, where he put up 20 points on 9-27 shooting, and was honored at half-time. Unfortunately, Jordan was set up to hit the final shot in overtime, but missed, and the West won the game in double OT.
5 "The Ceiling Is The Roof"
When it comes to just college basketball, Jordan, along with his then-teammate, James Worthy, are at the top of the list. In 1982, they led Hall of Fame coach, Dean Smith, to his first of two National Championships at the University of North Carolina. Jordan, being a North Carolina native, still attends Tar Heel games regularly and serves as a great recruiting tool for incoming freshmen.
During an inspirational speech/Jordan brand promotion for UNC, on March 5th, 2017, Jordan tried to pump up the crowd stating, "the ceiling is the roof." And the floor is the court, and water is wet. Well, maybe not those last two, but obviously, he slipped up, probably mincing his uplifting phrases. After this snafu, MJ should have fired his PR rep. Next time Jordan, just say, "God wouldn't have painted the heavens Tar Heel blue if he wasn't a North Carolina fan. The sky's the limit."
4 Jeffrey Jordan Falls Flat In College
Imagine what it would be like to be MJ's son. It must be bittersweet, because on one hand, you're rich and set for life, but on the other, everyone will always compare you to your dad. It probably would have been hard to pave your own path in life. That being said, Jeffrey Jordan, attempted to follow in his father's footsteps and pursue a career in basketball.
In 2007, Jeffrey joined the University of Illinois Fighting Illini as a walk-on, and eventually made his way to a scholarship. But, this is story doesn't end like the Bibby, Barry, or Walton families. Jeffrey only averaged 1.6 ppg, and eventually left the university to join his brother, Marcus Jordan, at UCF. In 2012, Jordan's oldest (known) son left the Knights program, citing personal reasons. Now, Jeffrey lives in Oregon, and is pursuing a career in management at Nike. My best guess is that he is being groomed to take over the Air Jordan brand.
3 Shaq Posterizes The Entire Bulls Depth Chart
Remember when we said that Jordan doesn't have many lowlights during his career, well Shaq seemed to want to add one to the list. Dim the lights, and we will set the mood for this monster slam.
The year was 1995, and Michael Jordan had just returned from his brief attempt to play baseball. The Bulls were on the ropes, as they failed to four-peat in 1994, and hoped to make it back to the top of the NBA. A young, 7'1" center, named Shaquille O'Neal, had led the Orlando Magic to the Eastern Conference Semis against a vengeful Chicago squad. Jordan played one of his worst series ever, getting ripped by Nick Anderson in a clutch situation in Game 1, leading to the Magic's go-ahead bucket.
Then, later in the series, Shaq poses for this poster against both Pippen and Jordan. Orlando went on to win the series and ECF, but were defeated by Houston in the Finals. Needless, to say, this shameful photo is a rare one; instead of MJ being the dunker, he is the dunkee.
2 That Iverson Crossover, Though
You'd think that Jordan could lockdown anyone, being selected nine times to the NBA All-Defensive First Team and all. That changed though on March 12th, 1997, when he was embarrassed on the court by fellow Hall of Famer, Allen Iverson. The rookie out of Georgetown was still unknown in the City of Brotherly Love, yet many had high hopes for his career. It wasn't until this night, when broke the GOAT's ankles, until he became the 76ers' true savior.
In the fourth quarter, AI set MJ up to the left only to hit him with quick crossover, and then another one, throwing Jordan off balance. Iverson then pulled up from 20-feet and drained the jumper. The Bulls went on to win 108-104 on route to Jordan's fifth NBA Championship, but the important question of who was going to be the next star in Phili' was answered, by "The Answer." To this day, Jordan is still mad about the whole ordeal. Iverson met up with Jordan in 2017, explaining that MJ was his hero, to which Jordan classically responded, "Well, I couldn’t have been a hero to you if you crossed me like that."
1 Real Men Cry (And The Internet Just Runs With It)
Now, to the most shameful picture of the Jordan family, the infamous crying Jordan meme. In 2009, when "Air Jordan" was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, he gave an extremely moving, and tearful, speech filled with stories from his Hay Day. It wasn't until three years later that the cut-out crying Jordan made its way onto the internet, and went viral, cementing the sobbing star as one of the top memes of all time!
Jordan has never came out to support or disapprove of the meme, but knowing MJ's competitive nature, he probably isn't too thrilled about it. Friend, and ex-NBAer Charles Oakley, even told TMZ in an interview that Jordan despises it. The GOAT's PR team came out and stated that it was fine, as long as nobody was profiting off of Jordan's likeness. In future generations, people will probably only recognize Jordan by his tearful face, and not his dominance in the NBA. For the meantime, go ahead and take a good laugh at some of the best crying Jordan memes ever.